Consumption haters: Why greens oppose cash-for-clunkers

August 4, 2009

For insight into why greens oppose the cash-for-clunkers program — even though it would reduce tailpipe emissions — read this op-ed by Gwen Ottinger in today’s Washington Post.

Here’s an excerpt:

First, even when new cars and appliances are more efficient than the ones they replace, the act of replacing them entails environmental costs not accounted for in the stimulus programs. Building a new car, washing machine or refrigerator takes energy and resources: The manufacture of steel, aluminum and plastics are energy-intensive processes, and some of the materials used in durable goods, especially plastics, use non-renewable fossil fuels as feedstocks as well as energy sources. Disposing of old products, a step required by most incentive and rebate programs, also has environmental costs: It takes additional energy to shred and recycle metals; plastic components often cannot be recycled and end up as landfill cover; and the engine fluids, refrigerants and other chemicals essential to operating products end up as hazardous wastes.

Cash-for-clunkers, you see, just breeds new/more consumption — and consumption is evil.

Take home message: Stop consuming. Start Decomposing.

Gwen Ottinger: If I only...

Gwen Ottinger: If I only...

... had a brain!

... had a brain!

6 Responses to “Consumption haters: Why greens oppose cash-for-clunkers”

  1. dublds Says:

    May lightning strike me for saying this, but I actually agree with the greens on this one, at least based on their own logic. Though I’ve made this point to lighter shade greens, and they’ve actually argued with me. But at the end of the day, there cannot possibly be any net energy savings associated with building a new car to replace an existing one, just because the new one gets 15 extra MPG. This is not enough to beak even with the energy spent building the new car.

    And as for economic stimulus, I’m not sure what benefit is realized when the government gives my tax money to broke people who use it to buy a car from GM who is owned by the government. What I do see is that we now have people RECEIVING social welfare from the government and PAYING car payments back to the government from them.

    Ahhh yes, the circle of Communism is complete. Meanwhile the environment is no better off for it.

    Who didn’t see this coming…?

  2. sbartsch Says:

    What’s the point of working hard and saving my money if the Government is going to dole out my tax money to people who were going to buy cars anyway?

  3. antigreennuke Says:

    “consumer” is a misnomer for customers who in a capitalist system work hard for their money and then can spend it on whatever they want. Only the collectivists who have no respect for money can find something wrong here. Also the whole ‘isms are just another form of name-calling that never explains, never justifies, why something is supposed to be wrong.

  4. higgy68 Says:

    Their reasons may be skewed, but i agree with the greens opposition to the clunker program. I can’t afford a new car so the soviet government, in their wisdom, is giving my tax contribution to someone else. Of course, the libs, including the chief lib, would accuse me of sour grapes. They would say that I should be happy to share. I can’t wait for election time.

  5. podawg Says:

    Actually, I’m relieved to see this – I was starting to wonder if the environmentalists had completely sold out to the administration. Cash for clunkers makes no sense! You are destroying perfectly good cars which could be re-sold – all to effect a cash transfer to gov’t/union workers! And for …. a gallon or two increase in fuel efficiency? If you really want CONSUMPTION – how about $4500 of OUR OWN $$ returned to us for whatever reason we’d like?

  6. bmerr2009 Says:

    why can’t these uberlibs get it right? We want consumption to get out of this recession. The uberlibs want us to save, save, save so we won’t consume and then in the middle of this recession they give an incentive to spend, spend, spend. So what do they want? Neither, they want control. To be able to tell you first look left, then right. No. Wait. Look right then left. Whatever.

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